(Washington, DC) – Mayor Bowser today announced three service providers that the Administration has selected to run the Short-Term Family Housing (STFH) programs in Wards 4, 7, and 8, which are scheduled to open this fall. The Ward 4 site, The Kennedy, will be operated by The National Center for Children and Families; the Ward 7 program, The Horizon, will be operated by Life Deeds; and the Ward 8 site will be operated by Community of Hope.
“We committed to replacing DC General with smaller, more dignified programs that can provide the services, support, and environment that our families need to get back on their feet, and with these community-based partners, we’re doing just that,” said Mayor Bowser. “Together, we will continue to make homelessness in Washington, DC rare, brief, and nonrecurring.”
Earlier this year, Mayor Bowser released her plan and timeline to close DC General Family Shelter by the end of 2018, keeping a promise to District residents to close – once and for all – the outdated shelter. In its place, smaller, more dignified programs are being built across all eight wards. The Patricia Handy Place for Women, a low-barrier shelter for women in Ward 2, began operations in early 2016. The Bowser Administration will host a ribbon-cutting for the Ward 4 program on September 26, 2018.
“These STFH programs are the centerpiece of the transformation of our emergency response system for families and I am thrilled that the time to open them is finally here,” said Department of Human Services (DHS) Director Laura Zeilinger.
Each Short-Term Family Housing program will provide safe and dignified emergency shelter for families who are experiencing homelessness and have places for children of all ages to play and do homework. Wrap-around services will be provided to help families stabilize and exit homelessness quickly.
Establishing an effective crisis response system, including the development of smaller, community-based Short-Term Family Housing programs, is a key strategy of Homeward DC, the Bowser Administration’s strategic plan to make homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring. Beginning in May 2018, DHS ceased new placements at the DC General Family Shelter. Since that time, DHS and partners have worked to support families and swiftly exit them from DC General and into permanent housing. At full-capacity, DC General provided shelter to 260 families. Today, only 81 families remain at the shelter.
As a result of the Homeward DC plan, the District has reduced overall homelessness by more than 17 percent in two years, and has reduced family homelessness by 40 percent over the same time. In addition to making unprecedented investments in affordable housing opportunities, the Administration launched a Homelessness Prevention Program which has successfully prevented a shelter stay for more than 5,700 families; increased investments in permanent housing programs by nearly 60 percent; expanded year-round access to provide immediate shelter for families in need regardless of the weather; and connected 3,900 single adults to permanent housing, including 1,700 veterans.
About the Service Providers
Ward 4: The National Center for Children and Families
The National Center for Children and Families (NCCF) is a private nonprofit organization with a mission to create total, healthy living environments for vulnerable children, youth, and families, and the quality of life which empowers their ability to thrive and demonstrate responsibility. Incorporated in the District in 1914 and with over 100 years of experience providing comprehensive services to children, youth, and families with issues including abuse, neglect, mental illness, substance abuse and homelessness and/or extreme poverty, NCCF has been a consistent bridge to services and stability in Washington, DC.
Ward 7: Life Deeds
Life Deeds is a DC nonprofit formed in 2009 with a mission to provide comprehensive, professional services that lead to an improved quality of life for homeless, run-away, committed, abused, neglected, and at-risk youth, adults, and families. Life Deeds provides case management services to disenfranchised populations in order to establish a pathway to an improved quality of life and access to needed services.
Ward 8: Community of Hope
Founded in 1980, Community of Hope (COH) is a non-profit, community-based organization whose mission is to create opportunities for low-income families in the District, including those experiencing homelessness, to achieve good health, a stable home, family-sustaining income, and hope. COH’s four strategic goals for 2015-2019 are to improve the health and well-being of underserved communities in the District, end homelessness for families in DC, increase financial stability for low-income families, and build a thriving organization.